The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the numbers for 2018 standard Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage. These guidelines dictate all Medicare PDPs that will be offered to patients for next year. Keep in mind, there are also “Enhanced” plans with higher premiums, reduced or eliminated deductibles, lower copays during initial coverage, and sometimes extra coverage in the donut hole.

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Patients will pay less during the Donut Hole (Coverage Gap)
In 2017, patients paid 40% the full cost of brand name drugs and 51% the full cost of generics. In 2018, patients will pay 35% the cost of brands and 44% of generics during the Donut Hole.

Important takeaways compared with 2017

The 2018 Medicare plan information will be released in the first two weeks of October, and we will let you know as soon as it is available in iMedicare. In the meantime, be sure you sign up for the next Open Enrollment best practices webinar to prepare yourself for the busy season soon ahead.

Remember, plan formularies change every year, so even if a patient is satisfied with their current plan, significant changes could drastically affect their coverage in 2018. Be sure you communicate with your patients so they aren’t surprised by increased costs or new restrictions!